|Sooty Shearwater: vast numbers visit the California Current System seasonally. Photo © Eric Preston.|
The CCS Marine Bird Conservation Plan includes scores of science-based recommendations, but few will be implemented without the support of commercial and recreational fisheries and other major economic interests that make their living in the CCS.
We at PRBO believe the answer is to establish a nonregulatory, voluntary coalition steeped in sound science--a "California Current Joint Venture."
The CCJV will provide a forum for apolitical discussions and help bridge cultural barriers in ocean and wildlife management. Modeled after land-based joint ventures (see page 1), the CCJV would ultimately bring commercial and recreational fisheries, regulatory agencies, oil companies, shipping interests, scientists, environmental advocates, and other stakeholders to the same table. Among the goals:
In the early days of the land-based JVs, few imagined how successful they would become in bringing together disparate interests for mutually beneficial conservation goals. While there are different challenges in the marine realm, we believe a CCJV partnership that engages a wide range of key decision makers and regulatory agencies will, given the time and opportunity, find common ground and effect seascape-scale change for win-win ocean conservation.
For a Joint Venture to succeed, the leadership must actively participate. Facilitating this participation requires coordination. PRBO has already convened several meetings of various partners to this end, and as funding becomes available, we hope to formally launch a CCJV that will then be guided by its management board partners. Stay tuned for more on this promising new development!